Evelynn Build Guide by LoLgarithm
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Greetings readers! My name is LoLgarithm and I’d like to invite you to read my simple guide on playing Evelynn.
There are two primary reasons I created this guide. First, I love playing Eve because she is very unique. She has the privilege of being the only stealth melee assassin. Of course, there are characters like Shaco or Talon or Wukong who have a stealth mechanic, but the key difference is that they cannot stock their prey. Stealth for these characters is a momentary advantage rather than an investment. This means that Eve can pick and choose the time and place of engagement.
Second, I noticed very few players having success with her in Dominion. Players mismanage her items, skill sequence, and most importantly, her skill set. Players more often than not mistake how to maximize her unique qualities, probably because so few people play her seriously these days. Remember: Eve is a high-risk, high-reward character and should be played as such. I have had great success using the strategy listed in this guide.
It is my hope that my advice will introduce new players to Eve and give old players a refreshed look at what Eve can do. This guide is designed with a “hit the ground running” philosophy so it might look backwards to some. I’ve put the building blocks of my build upfront to get players started and the subtleties on the back end for those interested in a more in-depth look at Eve. With that said, on to the guide!
Eve is very diverse. She can be built as a pure AP champion, pure AD champion, or a hybrid champion. This is a good thing because it gives players the opportunity to experiment. But it can also be daunting. This guide focuses primarily on a hybrid build.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Marks of Insight are the best Marks for most AP champions. These Marks reduce the opponent’s magic resistance which in turn increases the damage Eve’s magic-based attacks deal. Compared to the flat AP Marks and scalable AP Marks, the choice is obvious. Nine Greater Marks of Potency only allot Eve 5.31 Ability Power, while nine Greater Marks of Force allot 16.2 Ability Power at level 18. However, reducing the target’s resistances will give Eve a percentage based bonus to her magic-based attacks.
The game calculates resistances using the following formula: Damage Taken = Magic Resistance / (100 + Magic Resistance). Therefore, a target with 50 Magic Resistance will take 33.333% less damage from a magic-based attack. If the target’s resistance is reduced by the 8.55 Magic Penetration of nine Greater Marks of Insight, then the same target will take 29.309% less damage from magic-based attacks. That is roughly 4% more damage and much more scalable than ability power. This is particularly important in the early stages of the game before targets begin building defensive items.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
These are the best Seals for Eve since all of the Seals are relatively weak for non-support based champions. These will scale with Eve’s level and provide a nice little damage boost, but no more than that.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
The Greater Glyphs of Force, again, provide Eve with a nice scalable bonus. Together with the Seals, Eve will essentially have a free Blasting Wand by level 18. One could argue that the Greater Glyphs of Insight are better, but I disagree because this build does not run full Magic Penetration runes.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
For many Eve players, speed is life. Eve must be able to attack quickly and retreat before the target can respond accordingly or gather his teammates. The 4.5% additional movement speed will play a huge role in running from top to bottom for a fast gank, or getting to a point and neutralizing it before the enemy can respond. Any Magic Penetration or Ability Power lost in the Quintessence slot can be accounted for in Eve’s itemization, but movement speed cannot.
Eve’s masteries are fairly straightforward. Eve needs survivability, but wants to itemize for burst and sustained damage, her masteries must supplement her survivability. Therefore, the 9-21-0 build is best for her.
In the Offense Tree, Eve will want to take Mental Force for 3 flat Ability Power, 4% Cooldown Reduction in Sorcery , and 10% Magic Penetration in Arcane Knowledge . The last point will go into Summoner's Wrath . This mastery will grant Eve 5 additional Ability Power and Attack Damage when her Ignite is on cooldown. This is a very nice buff and economical considering that 1 mastery point grants greater bonus effects than 3 points in Brute Force and 4 in Mental Force combined.
Most of Eve’s masteries will be devoted to the Defense Tree. Most of these are self-explanatory, however, there are some masteries I’d like to point out.
Many players do not like putting two points into Indomitable for only a damage reduction of 2 points. I understand this, and I have never felt that Indomitable has helped me in a make-or-break situation. But given the other masteries in the Defense Tree, I feel Indomitable is better than anything else Eve could get.
Also, there is only a single point in Enlightenment . A single point in this mastery grants 2.7% Cooldown Reduction. This is very nice when coupled with Sorcery , but not entirely necessary because Eve’s cooldowns are very well balanced. I have never felt a great need to get Cooldown Reduction on Eve but it is nice especially for her Shadow Walk and Ravage.
What might surprise players is my choice to ignore Initiator and Mercenary . If “speed is life” for Eve, why do I not get a mastery that grants more movement speed? The answer lies in the caveat “when above 70% Health”. Rarely will Eve have above 70% Health. Usually, opponents will deal enough damage to keep her low and Agony's Embrace do not heal her to rise her above 70% health after a tower dive or team fight. On top of that, it requires three points to max. Not worth it in my opinion.
What then of Mercenary ? Mercenary can be good and has its place. Eve’s build can be expensive and she does tend to get a lot of kills. However, the mastery is dependent upon a few different factors. Firstly, it requires Eve get many kills and assists. Eve can certainly do this, but sometimes the game doesn’t go her way. She is squishy and has difficulty with tanky DPS, so the other team’s composition can influence her effectiveness here. Secondly, the longer the game goes on, the less likely Eve will pick up kills and assists. Eve is strongest in the middle of the game and if she is able to end the game early, she will pick up a marginal amount of gold. To get one Blasting Wand, Eve must get 72 kills and assists and most games probably won’t go that long.
In my opinion, Eve should focus all of her Defense Tree mastery points into survivability and ignore the other masteries. This grants Eve the benefit of early game survivability and freeing her up to purchase offensive items.
As I have said before, Eve wants to itemize for damage output, specifically burst damage. Eve is an assassin, therefore she should build like one.
Before the game begins, purchase one Blasting Wand and one Amplifying Tome. With these items and Eve’s masteries and runes, she will have 70 AP at the beginning. This translates into one 150 damage Ravage before mitigation. This is an incredible amount of damage and few players will have comparable spell damage.
On your first trip back to base, purchase one Boots of Speed. Because Eve will not level her Shadow Walk past rank 2 until 15, movement speed is key. The faster she moves, the less often she will need to activate her Shadow Walk.
The third item Eve should pick up is a Giant's Belt. Why? Because no one expects a 2000 HP Eve in the first 8 minutes of the game and because her next item will be a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. At this point, no one on the enemy team will have purchased survivability because they are trying to establish strong offensive capabilities in order to take towers. But at this point in the game, Eve will have both high burst damage and survivability. Only the strongest tanks will be able to stop her.
Speaking of which, get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter as soon as possible. When coupled with Hate Spike, her target will not be able to escape the constant pummeling Eve will deliver. Her targets will have to blow their Summoner Spells, making them much more appealing targets later if she must break off her attack.
Next, purchase Boots of Mobility. These will greatly enhance Eve’s ability to gank bottom, run top and gank top. Coupled with Shadow Walk, she will be everywhere on the map at a moments notice.
Now that she has her core items, it is time to consider higher damage output. First order of business is to grab a Guinsoo's Rageblade. This item is perfectly fitted for a hybrid Eve. It grants her Ability Power for burst damage, Attack Damage for sustained auto-attacks, and an Attack Speed buff which will enhance her Agony's Embrace.*
Now that the Rageblade is done, it is time to begin Trinity Force. Start with a Sheen for more burst damage. Then get a Phage for survivability, damage, and more crowd control. Finally the Zeal for a nice movement speed buff. Once she has those, the Trinity recipe is all that remains.
Boots of Mobility
The game should have been over by the time Eve got her Sheen, but if it isn’t, she will want a Rabadon's Deathcap for a little more burst and an Ability Power buff.
*NOTE: Recently I've been building Sheen before Guinsoo's Rageblade because it is cheaper. If an early Guinsoo's Rageblade isn't working for you, build Sheen instead.
Remember, Eve is an assassin so stalking and burst damage are her greatest advantages. Build to her strengths.
The first three levels are fairly obvious. Get one point in Hate Spike for damage spamming, one point in Shadow Walk to stalk her prey, and one point in Ravage to burst and debuff her target.
At level four, grab another point in Ravage for more burst damage and at level five grab another point in Shadow Walk. Grab her Malice and Spite whenever it becomes available as it will help her tower and team dive.
Maximize Ravage as soon as possible, then Hate Spike. Lastly, finish her Shadow Walk. This sequence focuses on the hit-hard-and-fast philosophy of the assassin.
The game has begun. Let someone else grab the middle node since Eve did not start with boots. Run to top as soon as possible to support your team. Let someone else engage and then focus all of her attacks on the target everyone is engaged on. Open with a Ravage, then spam Hate Spike repeatedly. Because there are no creeps yet and the enemy team is closely packed, Hate spike will hit another enemy champ, probably your next target. If Eve is being focused, use Shadow Walk and run away. Grab a heal and get back into the fight if an enemy is low. Otherwise, try to draw their attention, but do not die.
Whether or not the team got top or Eve died, her next step is to gank bottom. Use the brush where possible and get close enough to stealth and gank. The gank should be successful as long as the target is low or Eve’s ally is paying attention. Ping the target if necessary.
At this point gauge Eve’s team:
If her team has at least 3 nodes, play the middle of the field. This means staying in a brush somewhere in the middle of the map and go to either top or bottom, depending on which side needs the most assistance. Use Eve’s stealth to get in position and create a mismatch for her team.
If her team has more than 3 nodes, stand near the entrance of the enemy’s base that is nearest the node her team controls. It is very likely the opponents will attempt to recapture this node because it is easiest to recover and defend. Wait for your target to appear and strike. Kill him and flee. This will put him on a different cycle than his teammates. He will always be late and vulnerable to another attack.
If her team has 2 or fewer nodes gank wherever she can create a mismatch, then run to grab one of the opponent’s undefended nodes. You will not likely capture it, but that is alright. Neutralizing an enemy node puts the game into stalemate mode and the opponents must respond to gain the initiative. When they respond, find Eve’s target and kill him then flee.
Once Eve’s team has three or more nodes, play the middle of the field. Eve will now act as an interceptor. If any opponent goes to grab the Storm Shield, prevent him. If an opponent is attempting to bypass your allies for an undefended node, stop him. If a target is attempting to recapture a node, prevent him.
Some games do not go in Eve’s favor. Sometimes an opponent directly counterpicks Eve. If an opponent has a strong counterpick, avoid this character as long as possible. Do not feed him and no not engage without team support.
Also, players feel compelled to get Lightbringer or Hextech Sweeper or Oracle to combat Eve. Ask your teammates to kill these players often so that Eve can control the map. As long as the opponents are focused on Eve, they are not focused on countering her teammates. If your primary target gets one of these items, he will not be strong enough to kill Eve outright, so kill him instead.
Sometimes Eve will encounter another Eve or a Shaco or Twitch. Assist her team by getting an Oracle or Hextech Sweeper if she can afford it.
Finally, if Eve’s team is incompetent, backdoor as often as possible but do not sacrifice her unnecessarily. Neutralizing nodes is nearly as helpful as a full capture. It forces the enemy team to respond to regain the initiative and can create confusion among the enemy team. Use this to her advantage and pick off whoever is near to create mismatches in her team’s favor.
A Note on Backdooring
Backdooring is not a viable primary strategy on Eve. Backdooring is only viable to prolong the game. Once Eve’s team has the advantage, play the middle of the field. If you plan to use Eve as a backdoorer, forget about it now. She does not have the innate movement speed or defending capabilities compared to other, more viable characters like Rammus or Shaco. Use Eve to get kills, gank nodes, and stuff enemy carries.
Primary Targets List
Eve wants to kill specific types of characters. She is an assassin-type character with high burst and good finishers. Target opponents who are innately squishy, have few escapes, are not building resistance-type items, have few stuns or slows, and those who do not have oracles. The list below will help you choose the best targets:
Q) Why don’t you get boots as one of your first items?
A) Movement speed on Eve is a waste as a first item. Her stealth doesn’t last long enough and since I go top to support my teammates, they will see me before I can get in a good position anyway. By buying a Blasting Wand and an Amplifying Tome, I increase my damage output substantially and already have two of the three pieces towards a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Boots of Speed will be my first item on my first return to base.
Q) Why do you build a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter as your first item?
A) Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives Eve survivability, damage, and a slow when utilizing Hate Spike. This allows Eve to jungle gank, lane gank, tower dive, base dive, tower defend, and farm a lane if necessary. Very few enemy champions can overcome all three of these factors early in the game and even fewer players know how to manage an aggressive Eve.
Q) Why do you build Boots of Mobility?
A) Boots of Mobility are my choice because they effectively extend the life of Eve’s Shadow Walk. Because I only get rank 2 Shadow Walk before maxing my other skills, this is a huge plus. Berserker Greaves are less important because her early damage will be AP-based, she does not need the cooldown reduction from Ionian boots, and Boots of Speed are unnecessary because she will have the scepter. The only other viable option is Mercury Treads, but I’ve never felt she needs.
In addition to this, Eve needs to be able to get from top to bottom and back to top as soon as possible to gank and support her team. Boots of Mobility and speed boosts on the battlefield allow her to do this with ease and appear where the enemy does not expect her.
Q) What survivability items do you recommend?
A) Eve can have trouble against sustained DPS (like Tryndamere) and burst casters (like Veigar). The two best defensive items for Eve are Thornmail for DPS and Odyn's Veil for burst casters. These items are, in my opinion, the best to counter those respective champion types. If you are being destroyed by one or the other, set aside time and gold to pump up her survivability. However, you should avoid these types of champions as much as possible.
Q) Why do you need Rylai's Crystal Scepter when you have Phage and then Trinity Force?
A) Rylai's Crystal Scepter grants 80 AP and 500 Health. Phage grants only 18 AD and 225 Health. The 80 AP is more beneficial since Eve’s early game must begin with strong burst damage with Ravage since she will not have the staying power necessary to duke it out with any opponent. Rylai's also grants twice as much health. On top of these things, only one in four attacks from a Phage will land a 30% slow. Eve will have a .885 Attack Speed by the time she gets Rylai's. It would take Eve 3.54 seconds (.885 * 4) to land a single slow, but the slow only lasts 2.5 seconds. Instead of going for the chance of slowing Eve's target, you can get Rylai’s and have 100% chance to slow on every Hate Spike (though for only 15% reduction) and Ravage.
Now on to timing. If I get a Phage at the beginning of the game, I will have more survivability, true, but less burst damage and no boots. However, if I start the game with a Blasting Wand and an Amplifying Tome I will have 60 more AP and higher burst. I can manage my survivability by playing intelligently and using Shadow Walk.
I should have Rylai's by the 8 minute mark and Boots of Mobility by 9 minutes (4105 gold total). Sure I could have Phage and boots (2315 gold total) earlier than the 9 minute mark, but I would still need AP for burst or AD and survivability to achieve worse results. But I'll be getting Phage eventually to complete Trinity Force, so I have to get it sooner or later. That and the slows from Phage and Rylai's stack, which is nice. Once I have Rylai's, very little can stop or run away from me. Rylai's is, in this way, an insurance policy.
Q) Why do you choose to max Ravage first over Hate Spike?
A) Ratio Comparison: Ravage's AP ratio is 1:1. This means that for every 1 AP Eve has, she deals 1 more magic damage. Hate Spike's AP ratio is 1:.28. This means that for every 4 AP Eve has, she deals 1.12 more magic damage.
Raw Damage Comparison: Ravage has a 9 second cooldown, while Hate Spike has a .8 second cooldown. At rank 5, Ravage deals 320 magic damage. At rank 5, Hate Spike deals 85 magic damage. If Eve has 100 AP, she will deal 420 magic damage (320 + 100) to her target over 9 seconds. The same Eve will deal 1271.25 magic damage ((85 + (100 * .28)) * (9/.8)) over 9 seconds.
There are two other factors to take into account, however. Rank 5 Ravage also reduces a target’s Armor and Magic Resistance by 26 for 5 seconds, which in turn increases her overall damage output. That in turn also increase the combat effectiveness of our allies. Secondly, Hate Spike only has a chance of striking your target. That’s because Hate Spike is not a targeted spell. This means that, unless you are fighting only one or two opponents, chances are some of your Hate Spikes will miss. Beyond this, Hate Spike is really only viable as a major source of damage if your target is willing to stay and fight.
Bottom line is this: Hate Spike does more damage over time, but Ravage is more consistent.
Q) Why do you prefer burst damage over sustained damage?
A) Burst is very important for Eve. In the beginning, Eve will not have the AD, AS, or survivability to stand toe-to-toe with other champions. Instead, Eve must use her stealth to get in position, take a chunk out of the target’s HP and finish the job quickly before the enemy team can respond. In the mid and late game, burst is important as a finisher. Use Ravage to open and Hate Spike until Ravage is off of cooldown.
Sustained damage is also very important, but must be prioritized behind burst. Sustained factors more heavily into Eve’s game play once opponents start building survivability and she can no longer two- or three-shot a target.
Q) Is Eve's passive Shadow Walk any good?
A) Not... really. It may help on the occasional gank or tower dive, but I've never felt it played any significant role in my success.
I hope you had as much fun reading this guide as I had writing it! I also hope that you have gained a greater understanding of how to use Eve and—dare I say it?—countering Eve if you encounter one.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them to the Comments section of the guide and I will respond as soon as possible.
I do plan to add an Attack Damage, Ability Power, and an Attack Speed guide in the future. I have had marginal success with pure Ability Power and Attack Speed Eve, but nothing really to write home about.
Thank you again, and I hope to see you in the Crystal Scar!